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RUMOR: Next iPad May Have CDMA Model

A new rumor has surfaced in regards to the next-generation iPad (2), following recent reports that it will arrive in Wi-Fi and UMTS versions. According to sources, there will also be a third CDMA model compatible with Verizon Wireless and Sprint.

The news isn't surprising given all the talk surrounding Apple, CDMA support, and a Verizon-compatible iPhone. In fact, building a CDMA version has probably been in the works ever since Apple began planning the iPad. This model would allow Verizon and other CDMA-based networks to provide the tablet as-is rather than creating pricier bundles that include a Wi-Fi model and a portable hotspot device.

Sources claim that the iPad 2 build ratio will be 3:4:3 (Wi-Fi/UMTS/CDMA), and that production is expected to start in the first half of January-- possibly right after Steve Jobs is expected to reveal the second-generation tablet at the beginning of the month. Around 500,000 units are expected to be poised and ready for retail in April.

In addition to the wireless connectivity options, the reports also indicate that Apple is working on strengthening the iPad 2's anti-smudge and anti-reflective aspects in order to better compete with Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's NookColor. Apple reportedly passed on using an active-matrix organic LED display due to constrained supplies.

An estimated sixteen million first-generation iPad units have shipped during 2010, with two to three million units still remaining in the channel at the beginning of 2011. It's speculated that Apple green-lighted various discounts at Best Buy and other retailers during the holiday season in order to push this last batch out to consumers and make room for the next generation model.

Expect to see additional steep discounts for the original iPad in the coming months.